The National Health Department have confirmed that two patients were in isolation on Thursday evening, after they exhibited symptoms linked to the dreaded coronavirus. The deadly disease has killed more than 550 people, from almost 20 000 cases reported worldwide. However, both tests came back negative later in the evening.
Suspected coronavirus cases in KZN: Latest news and updates
- Number of patients: Two.
- When they were first admitted to hospital: Just after 17:00 on Thursday 6 February.
- Current status: Both were under observation in two separate hospitals – they have since been cleared by tests.
Was there any confirmation of the disease?
No. It is important to stress that these were just suspected cases. Both patients were under investigation, and there has been no confirmation of coronavirus being present in SA. However, these two were isolated by medical teams, so the concerns were genuine. The Health Department updated us a short while ago:
“The department can confirm that it was aware of two suspected cases. At the moment, there is no laboratory confirmation of the virus. The department is monitoring the treatment and management of these patients quite closely. Members of the public will be duly notified of any new developments.”
“We can now say that both tests came back negative, and neither patient has coronavirus.”Health Department
Beware of ‘fake news’
In their communication, the Health Department were quick to warn people against sharing “fake news”. Stories claiming that the coronavirus is spreading around South Africa are, as of Thursday evening, untrue. Citizens must only take information from official news sources, government departments, or trusted “blue-tick accounts” on Twitter. Even then, it’s important to try and corroborate every claim with two or three other sources.
Where were the patients being treated?
One was been isolated at a facility based in the south of Durban, whereas the other patient was in a state hospital based in an unidentified location, somewhere in KZN. Both will be allowed to return home tonight.
This is not the first coronavirus scare in SA…
These two are not the first patients treated with such precautions. A worker in Limpopo was believed to have coronavirus-like symptoms earlier this week. He was cleared on Wednesday, and discharged on the same day.